Tag Archives: Stealth

Ambience Field recording Stealth

Covert operations / Subway ambience

My undercover sound bag

“Hey! Is that a microphone?” We’ve all had recordings ruined by the guy who spotted you and your equipment. Time to leave the blue/orange Petrol bag and the zeppelin at home and use something more discreet.

I found an old army medic bag and decided to use it as an undercover sound bag. My SD744T recorder, NP1 battery and Rode NT4 stereo mic easily fit in the bag. I have yet to find a way to suspend the microphone, so to minimize handling noise I just have to stand still or sit down while recording.

The contents of the bag

My first test run was on the subway in Oslo. I found a seat on the train and rode around for a while. With the business end of the microphone sticking out of the bag and my hand resting on the other end to to keep it still, it worked pretty well. There was some occasional handling noise, but not bad at all.

Microphone capsules sticking out. Ready to record.

It was also easy to gather ambiences in different places by resting the bag in my lap or next to me. The lack of a fuzzy windjammer was a problem when recording outside. I guess I’ll have to try to put one on the next time I go outside to record. I recorded some ambience on the subway platform and the trains passing by occasionally caused wind distortion. I tried to position myself to avoid that, but a windjammer definitely would have made it easier.

Despite of some small problems I got some good material. Below are some samples.

Equipment used: Rode NT-4 -> Sound Devices 744T
Join me on the subway from Majorstuen station to Nationaltheatret station.
Subway ride from Majorstuen station to Nationaltheatret station, Oslo, Norway by ThomasAlf

Ambience recorded at Stortinget subway station.
Stortinget subway station ambience, stealth recording by ThomasAlf